How does ELD compliance with Samsara work?

September 30, 2020

How the ELD works

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Key Takeaways

Is your fleet navigating the FMCSA emergency COVID-19 HOS suspension? Read our FAQ to learn what the new rules are, if they apply to your fleet, and how to adjust your operations to stay compliant.

How Samsara's ELD works

Samsara's electronic logging device is an FMCSA-registered ELD that connects directly to a vehicle's engine through the OBD port. Live data is transmitted to the ELD so there is always an accurate log of when the engine is on and what speed the vehicle is traveling, as well as diagnostic information, such as engine fault codes, and safety information, such as instances of harsh braking or acceleration.

Drivers then record their hours through the Samsara driver app, selecting whether they were on duty, off duty, or driving. Together, the engine data and the driver's records of duty status form a complete picture of compliance with the ELD rule.

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Fleet managers can track all of the electronic logs and engine data in one dashboard. If drivers are nearing or in violation of the hours of service regulations, fleet managers can take action to ensure their fleet remains compliant.

Can Samsara's ELD maintain compliance when there's no cell coverage?

Yes. Samsara gateways come with a WiFi hotspot that allows mobile devices to connect directly to the gateway over WiFi, without the need for costly cellular data plans. This means that the ELD can transmit the necessary engine status updates to the driver's device even in areas without cellular coverage, maintaining compliance at all times.

How do drivers maintain their driving logs?

Drivers use Samsara's driver app to keep their logs up to date and remain compliant with the ELD mandate. Through the app, drivers set their duty status, then review and certify their hours of service logs. Samsara combines inputs from the driver app and data from the vehicle in order to automatically create drive time segments when the vehicle is in motion.

When a driver starts their day, all they have to do is set their status to “On Duty” in the app. When their vehicle starts moving, the app automatically changes their status to “Driving” once the vehicle speed reaches 5 miles per hour and sets their status back to “On Duty” when their vehicle has ceased moving for 5 minutes.

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Because Samsara's ELDs come equipped with a WiFi hotspot, carriers do not need to purchase separate cellular data plans for their drivers—drivers can use their own mobile devices and the provided WiFi to meet the requirements of the ELD mandate.

If drivers are nearing an hours of service violation or have exceeded the hours allowed during a shift, Samsara will send real-time alerts to help drivers maintain compliance.

Can drivers edit their logs?

Due to FMCSA regulations, drivers are unable to edit automatically created driving segments. In cases where drivers forget to change their driving status or if there's some other mistake, drivers can update their hours of service log through the Samsara driver app. For any edits, drivers must include comments, per the requirements of the ELD mandate.

Team driving

Samsara's ELD compliance solution also enables team driving. Driving teams of two or more can manage their hours of service from one device through the “Driving Team” feature of the driver app.

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How do fleet managers monitor HOS violations?

Samsara gives you real-time visibility into drivers nearing or in violation of HOS so that your company can mitigate compliance risk. Through the Samsara dashboard, compliance managers can review the Hours of Service report to see drivers' current duty status, how long they've been in that status, the time remaining until their break, and the amount of time left in their driving period, shift, and cycle. This report will highlight drivers who are nearing or in violation of hours of service rules.

The Hours of Service Violations report aggregates all information on driver violations or missing certifications into one report, allowing you to see at a glance if a driver has exceeded a shift limit or missed a rest break.

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